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| FAA CERTIFIES PREMIER I |
At long last, Raytheon Aircraft received FAA certification last Friday for the Premier I six-passenger business jet. Because of several snags in the certification process, the Premier program was set back more than two years. The $5.3 million Premier I is the first composite-fuselage business jet to receive FAA certification. It's part of a new family of jets introduced by Raytheon that combine the composite fuselages with swept aluminum wings. So far, Raytheon has more than 300 orders for the new jet and is preparing for a delivery rate of up to 60 per year. For more, see the Web site.
VAN'S AIRCRAFT INTRODUCES RV-7/7A
Van's Aircraft has introduced its most advanced design–one that's also said to be the easiest to build. As an encore to the popular RV-6/6A, the roomier RV-7/7A offers comparable performance, better visibility, greater useful load, and longer range. It will also accept Lycoming engines in the 150- to 200-hp range, giving builders more options. A Van's official said that the company will continue to support RV-6 builders. For more, see the Web site. Photo by Ken Scott.
FAA, INDUSTRY GROUPS MOVE TOWARD SAFER SKIES
Three years into the 10-year Safer Skies program, the FAA said Tuesday at an annual conference in Washington, D.C., that it and industry groups are on a steady course. Working in conjunction with a commercial aviation group under the program, a GA team is currently finding ways to improve training, as well as better low-altitude procedures and synthetic vision technology to reduce weather-related accidents. Other areas under study include pilot decision-making, control loss, survivability, and runway incursions. AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation are key players in the program. See ASF story below.
PIONEER WINGWALKER DIES
Jessie E. Woods, who barnstormed in the 1920s and '30s, died March 17 in Great Bend, Kansas, after a brief battle with pneumonia. She was 92. Woods had a 45-year aviation career as a wingwalker, aerobatic pilot, and parachutist. Along with her husband, the late James H. Woods, she founded the Flying Aces Air Circus. It was the longest-running air circus in U.S. history.
DISNEY TO CELEBRATE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF FLIGHT
Disney World in Orlando, Florida, plans a huge celebration in 2003 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight. The main attraction will be the opening of a new, permanent space pavilion that will give visitors astronaut training and blast them off on an "imagineered" space flight, sources said. Coinciding with that will be the air and space celebration that will include a half-dozen exhibits–one of them devoted to aviation. Originally, as reported last week in ePilot, planners had considered having the air and space celebration this June. Until 2003, however, the primary aviation attraction will be the banner towers who circle above Disney World to promote Orlando-area attractions.
For daily news updates, see AOPA Online.
| Squawk Sheet |
| FAA REVISES V-TAIL BONANZA ADs |
In an effort to provide some clarity to the sometimes confusing airworthiness directives (ADs) affecting several early models of Beech V-tail Bonanzas, the FAA recently proposed two new ADs. Proposed AD 93-CE-37-AD revises an earlier AD by condensing and clarifying information. It also removes several models from the earlier AD; they would fall under proposed AD 2000-CE-44-AD, which incorporates a mod developed by Raytheon that would eliminate operating limitations currently imposed upon affected airplanes. To view the ADs, see AOPA Online ( 2000-CE-44-AD) or ( 93-CE-37-AD).
FAA IGNORES INDUSTRY, ISSUES CESSNA 172 RG AD
The FAA issued final rule AD 2001-06-06 on Wednesday, requiring inspection of main landing gear pivot assemblies on Cessna 172RGs. The AD is intended to detect, correct, and prevent future cracks that could result in gear-up landings. AOPA opposed the proposed AD in December, stating that only a relatively small number of service difficulty reports actually existed in the FAA’s database. Even the FAA’s risk assessment evaluation chart strongly indicated that AD action was not necessary. Contrary to the input of AOPA, other groups, aircraft type clubs, and owners, however, the FAA issued the AD. For more, see AOPA Online.
FAA MAKES CHANGES TO BELL 47 AD
This week the FAA made good on its earlier promise to revise an onerous AD on the rotor blade grips of Bell 47 helicopters. However, the proposed revision does not provide owners with much relief. Instead, it expands the AD's applicability to include two additional part numbers, and eliminates the liquid penetrant inspection in lieu of a more effective eddy current inspection procedure. Comments must be received by the FAA by May 29. For more see, AOPA Online.
| Inside AOPA |
| AOPA QUESTIONS FINDINGS ON TAILWHEEL CESSNAS |
AOPA is questioning a recent NTSB letter to the FAA, requesting the issuance of an airworthiness directive (AD) that would affect thousands of tailwheel Cessnas with spring-steel landing gear. Following a 1999 accident in Alaska in which the left landing gear of a Cessna 185 collapsed during a landing rollout, the NTSB told the FAA that it should require the removal and inspection of the main landing gear spring struts on all Cessna 170, 180, 185, 190, and 195 aircraft. The NTSB wants a dye-penetrant inspection for corrosion and cracks. But only 25 aircraft since 1974 have been reported to have cracks in main landing gear struts--and most of those aircraft were used for bush flying in Alaska. AOPA noted that the extremely small number of aircraft involved and the type of problem cited in the NTSB report does not justify a mandatory AD action. AOPA will work with Cessna type clubs to provide the FAA with more information.
SECRET SERVICE SEEKS PROTECTION FOR BUSH RANCH
The Secret Service has asked the FAA to establish a new prohibited area over President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, west of Waco. P-49 will become effective May 17. It will extend from the surface up to 5,000 feet within a 3-nautical-mile radius of the president's Texas home. A portion of the V358 airway will also be moved about 4 miles north to avoid the new prohibited area. AOPA met with both the FAA and the Secret Service to discuss the need for the new airspace. Prohibited areas over presidential homes are common. There are permanent prohibited areas protecting the White House and Camp David.
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| On Capitol Hill |
| BACKCOUNTRY AIRSTRIP BILLS TO BE INTRODUCED |
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-Idaho) were to reintroduce backcountry landing strip access legislation either late this week or early next week, according to congressional sources. Both AOPA-backed bills block efforts by federal agencies to restrict or arbitrarily prohibit general aviation's use of backcountry airstrips by requiring approval from state aviation officials before closing landing sites on federal land. Last year, AOPA supported Crapo, who successfully attached an amendment to the Interior Appropriations Conference Report for fiscal year 2001. The amendment prohibited the use of federal funds to close any airstrips on lands administered by the Department of the Interior. For more Capitol Hill news, see AOPA Online.
AOPA DEFENDS MINETA
After Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta was criticized in a Wall Street Journal editorial for saying he opposed the creation of a nonprofit, user fee-based corporation to handle air traffic control, AOPA President Phil Boyer sent a letter to the editor in defense of Mineta. Boyer wrote that the FAA and the air traffic control system are not solely responsible for the airline delay problem, adding that the airlines also need to take responsibility for the delays. "Those who truly understand the [air traffic control] system say future technological improvements will only increase capacity 5 to 15 percent," Boyer said. "Privatization or user fees won't change that."
| Airport Support Network |
| AOPA ALERTS TEXAS VOLUNTEERS TO KEY BILL |
Recently, AOPA was able to utilize one of its most valuable resources on the local level, Airport Support Network volunteers, by alerting them to an important state bill. The Texas legislature is considering House Bill 2522, which would require the state to establish and maintain a new airport in central Texas. The airport would help reduce the strain on aviation in Texas caused by already packed airports that offer minimal general aviation services. When the House Transportation Committee scheduled an upcoming hearing on the bill, Texas ASN volunteers were immediately notified with information on how they could help support the bill. The ASN volunteer program is a valuable resource for AOPA, especially on timely issues. For more, see AOPA Online.
To learn more about the Airport Support Network, visit AOPA Online.
| AOPA Air Safety Foundation News |
| FAA COMMENDS ASF FOR RUNWAY SAFETY |
FAA Associate Administrator Tom McSweeny commended the AOPA Air Safety Foundation on Tuesday for its dedication to runway safety education at the Safer Skies conference. ASF has participated in the Safer Skies program since its inception in 1997 by providing technical expertise on the root cause of GA accidents and the most cost-effective interventions to improve safety. ASF Executive Director Bruce Landsberg represented ASF at the event.
ASF GOES DOWN UNDER
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation was called in to help improve general aviation safety in Australia. The program that has helped tens of thousands of U.S. flight instructors revalidate their FAA teaching certificates went Down Under in March. ASF provided two modified Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics (FIRCs) in cooperation with Australian aviation officials. For more, see AOPA Online.
| Quiz Me! |
|Here’s a question asked by an AOPA member last week of our AOPA technical specialists. Test your knowledge. |
Question: In the Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) Directory , what does the column titled "senior" signify?
Answer: "Senior" denotes that the aviation medical examiner is a senior AME. According to FAA Order 8520.2E, a senior aviation medical examiner is an AME authorized by the FAA to issue first class airman medical certificates under FAR Part 67. To be designated as a senior AME, the physician must have demonstrated compliance with the requirements for continued service as an AME and acceptable prior performance as an AME for a period of at least three years.
Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? Call 800/872-2672 or e-mail to [email protected]. Send comments on our Quiz Me! questions to [email protected].
| AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza Update |
| SWEEPS BONANZA PAINT SCHEME TAKES SHAPE |
What's red and white with silver and gold trim and flies really fast? It's the 2001 AOPA Sweepstakes Bonanza. See for yourself how it will look in your hangar in our latest project update on AOPA Online.
| What's New At AOPA Online |
|The free instrument approach procedures on AOPA Online have been updated. In addition, the airport taxiway diagrams have been updated as part of an effort between the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and the FAA to reduce the number of runway incursions. |
| ePilot Calendar |
| WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS |
Charlotte, North Carolina. The Army Aviation Association of America will host its annual convention April 4 through 7 at the Charlotte Convention Center. Call 203/226-8184 for event information.
Berry Islands, Bahamas. The Coconut Water Fly-In takes place April 6 though 8 at Chub Cay Airport (MYBC). Call 800/327-7678 for event information.
Coleman, Texas. A Fly-In Air Show takes place April 7 at Coleman Municipal Airport (COM). Call 915/625-4693 for event information.
MacDill Air Force Base. MacDill AFB hosts its annual Air Show and Festival April 7 and 8. Call 813/828-2902 for event information.
Lakeland, Florida. The annual Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In, takes place at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport April 8 through 14. Call 863/644-2431 for event information, or visit the Web site. Visit the AOPA exhibit in Building B.
For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events
ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in San Diego, Denver, Chicago, and Boston on April 7 and 8. Clinics are scheduled in Tampa, Florida; Indianapolis; and Salt Lake City, April 21 and 22. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.
ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitterï¿½ Ground School will take place April 8 in Denver. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.
For comments on calendar items or to make submissions, contact Julie S. Walker at [email protected].
Got news tips? Contact ePilot editor Nathan A. Ferguson at [email protected] Having difficulty using this service? Visit the ePilot Frequently Asked Questions now at AOPA Online or write to [email protected].
To SUBSCRIBE: visit http://www.aopa.org/members/epilot.html.
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Copyright ï¿½ 2001. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
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